I work at a summer camp in upstate NY as an audio engineer. It is not uncommon to come across a copperhead at night and there have been cases where people have been bitten and helivaced to the nearest hospital. The area is in a valley which means that walking to my bunk I need to traverse a rocky hill some couple hundred feet off the main road. I may take it out on an occasional hike in the mountains.
I would like if possible a moonlight function so I can get in my living quarters without waking a sleeping roommate while still having enough light to find a change of clothing.
I will also need to get to the wash-house and back in the middle of the night about 50 feet away from the bunk, not really necessary to preserve night vision as the fluorescent bathrooms lights are always on to blind me anyways.
My primary function will be lighting up the main road (some 12+ feet) directly in front and ahead of me as I'll be looking for snakes and animals in front of me, especially at my feet. Being in the valley, the terrain is very steep, aside from the relatively flat main dirt road.
As an audio engineer I need a setting low enough to quickly glance at the board without drawing attention to myself in the booth.
The light will be used about 2-3 hours each night in total runtime, mostly for walking around but with a bit of fun messing around in high mode seeing how far I can throw and what I can light up.
1) I will be buying online
2) Budget: Less than $75.
3) Format: I want a flashlight.
4) Flashlight-specific format/size: (I'd like form factor to be fairly uniform.)
X____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
5) Emitter/Light source:
X____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
X____I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
X____I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.
7) What battery type do you want to use?
X____I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry AA (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
X____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
(AA would be most convenient, but I'd be willing to try others if the additional runtime and brightness is good enough to warrant the additional cost. Please recommend which batteries and charger I should get if not AA.)
8) Lumens: The more I can get for the money the better. Would be fun to see how much of the large ballfield I can light up. It's more than 2 soccer pitches long.
X____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
X____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.
X____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
X____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
X____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
X____150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)
10) Runtime: High 2hrs + (would be nice if I only had to charge it once or twice a week)
11) Durability/Usage: Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box). Strong enough to survive a few drops in the rugged terrain.
12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):
X____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
X____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
X____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
X____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
X____Programmable light would be nice as I have many tasks, might not meet my budget though.
X____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s flashlights).
15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.
X____Holster would be nice, not a deal breaker.
X____Able to tailstand.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to all your comments and recommendations!!